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Court takes steps to bring ‘crying politician’ to trial

Kyodo

The Kobe District Court took steps Monday to force a former lawmaker famous for weeping hysterically at a news conference in 2014 to show up for his trial for swindling political funds.

It would be Ryutaro Nonomura’s first public appearance since his hysterical weeping scene went viral on the Internet.

The 49-year-old former member of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly failed to appear at the first session of his trial on Nov. 24, citing his mental condition.

The trial was rescheduled to start Tuesday.

Nonomura’s lawyer said at the time that his client “panicked as he bumped into media people when he tried to leave his house” to go to the court.

The court decided that was insufficient reason for missing his trial start and issued a bench warrant to bring him to court.

Court officials said Monday that Nonomura was taken to the district court in the morning to ensure his attendance at the trial Tuesday.

Nonomura was indicted for misusing about ¥9.13 million that he was supposed to use only for research activities in his role as an assembly member. He allegedly falsely claimed that he used the money for one-day business trips and to buy stamps.

He has returned all of the funds he received for research activities, which totaled ¥18.34 million.

Prosecutors still decided to indict him, without arrest, because they thought he acted maliciously.

Nonomura became notorious for his wild behavior at a three-hour news conference on July 1, 2014, during which he burst into tears, banged his fist on a table and yelled at reporters.